Warning: mild spoilers ahead for season 3 of Stranger Things.
Love it, or hate it, the 80s have been making a resurgence in 2019. With everything from fashion and beauty to popular TV shows, there’s something about this decade that keeps making a comeback!
On the Netflix series Stranger Things, a show oozing 80s vibes, there was a strong showing of retro 80s logos from some major brands.
Much of season 3 is set in a mall, which was the epicenter of teen life before the launch of the internet and social media. Even the Starcourt Mall logo exudes all the 80s feels you’ve ever wanted (and then some).
Between flashing scenes of teenagers fighting grotesque monsters, all the while falling in and out of love, there were hints of famous brands hidden in the background of the mall.
If you weren’t looking too closely, they were easy to miss. But since Looka is all about logos, it was the first thing that stood out!
The Stranger Things logo and 80s theme
From the hairstyles and clothing to the music and movie references, Stranger Things is so clearly based in the 80s, and the fans are all about it.
Season 3 takes place over a few very long days, and the action and drama are in full force. From fighting evil Russians to the awakening of the Mind Flayer (leading to mass demonic-like possessions), the strong 80s theme was a nice balancing act to calm the nerves.
One of the coolest things about the show is the iconic Stranger Things logo itself. The blood-red neon, stencil letters, and panned-out animation make it anything but forgettable.
This logo is so popular, there’s even a free Stranger Things logo maker you can use to create your very own logo in this style.
But enough about the Stranger Things opening sequence! It’s time to take a look at what famous 80s logos made the cut in this season’s roundup (and where they appear).
1. Orange Julius
How could anyone forget about this scene — it had Glee slushie-throwing vibes written all over it.
And, can we say: the old-school Orange Julius logo is really great! The typeface they use today is much less exaggerated, but still has all of those fun vibes that are associated with the brand.
2. The Gap
A classic American brand, The Gap, made its way into this season’s long list of featured brands (cue the shopping montage). This logo has seen some major changes over the years, getting rid of its all-lowercase rounded typeface and tight kerning. You can’t help but love that retro logo feel, though.
3. Burger King
Having significant air time in season 3, Burger King came in strong and was a brand you couldn’t miss! This fast-food logo has had a few changes since the 80s, but the iconic colors and graphic sandwich effect have held steady.
Scrunchies, hair clips, and glitter, oh my! No mall is complete without a Claire’s — even today. The slightly elongated letters and loose kerning in this 80s logo have since been changed to a more bold and simple font — but really, the aura of the store has remained the same over time.
Sometimes simple is better. The JCPenney logo has seen little to no changes over the years, making the brand instantly recognizable.
Often referred to as a type of exercise made famous in the 80s, Jazzercise is a real-life dance company that’s still going strong with over 8,300 franchises worldwide. The 80s version of their logo holds a soft spot in the hearts of many with those cute stars and rainbow colors.
7. Cocoa Puffs
In a time when sugary cereal was yet to be viewed too critically by the watchful eye of government health departments, kids could eat Cocoa Puffs by the boxes without judgment. Unlike some of the other logos spotted in Stranger Things, the Cocoa Puffs logo has been made more retro and fun today, with curved letters and a 3D effect.
8. New Coke
What’s an 80s-themed TV show without some (extra) sugary soda? Throwing it back to a campaign introduced in April of 1985, New Coke was the unofficial name for the reformulation of Coca-Cola. It was all the craze in this season.
Although they’ve closed down most of their stores and shifted their focus to online retail, RadioShack (“America’s Technology Store”) has been a Stranger Things staple. In season 2, Bob Newby was the manager at the local Hawkins RadioShack, and again in season 3 audiences saw glimpses of the brand.
RadioShack even has a famous 2014 Superbowl commercial called “The 80s Called” — so naturally, the brand throwback fits nicely within the show theme.
Though there wasn’t a huge focus put on Schick, their logo was hard to miss with that bright yellow packaging!
11. Sam Goody (BONUS)
Here’s an ultimate throwback for all of you music fanatics out there: Sam Goody (which ceased operations in 2006) was spotted with a bright neon sign. This is probably the most 80s logo in the whole show!
What makes an iconic 80s logo?
Now that you’ve seen a bunch of them, you may be able to point out some elements that make an iconic 80s logo.
Graphic design in the 80s featured pastel colors, animal print, tropicals, neon, pop art brights, and bold geometrics, making the style truly recognizable, even to the non-designer’s eye.
There’s something about a mixed pattern and broad color profile that brings joy to the heart (check out these 80s graphic designs on Pinterest for more throwback inspiration).
And let’s not forget about the fonts. If you thought Comic Sans was too funky for your font flavor palette, popular 80s fonts would likely knock your socks off.
Stranger Things is made for branding
Not only were there many product placements and quick clips of iconic brands shown in season 3; some of these brands took it to the next level and brought Stranger Things into the present with marketing campaigns and themed merchandise.
Here are just a few of the brands jumping on the Stranger Things bandwagon:
Scoops Ahoy played such a massive role in the show, and for some, it was clear that this staple was a reference to Baskin Robbins.
Throughout the season, the ice cream shop was one of the main hangout spots. You’ll likely recall scenes with the very memorable Erica asking for more free samples.
But for those who didn’t realize, all became clear when select Baskin Robbins around North America transformed their shops into real-life Scoops Ahoys!
Levi’s is another brand jumping on the show’s massive popularity, selling sweaters with “Stranger Things” plastered in Collegiate-style lettering, Camp NoWhere gear, and even the exact outfit that Eleven wore on the night of the epic Mind Flayer battle.
Oh, and they also turned their logo upside down and used a similar line lettering effect to mimic the upside-down world in Stranger Things. Very clever, Levi’s.
— Levi's® (@LEVIS) July 11, 2019
Barb Holland (who died in season 2) continues to be a big influence for many brands, including Lego. You can also buy a whole Stranger Things Lego set, featuring the the upside-down world and a Demogorgon.
— LEGO (@LEGO_Group) July 11, 2019
As mentioned, Burger King was featured prominently in the third season of Stranger Things. The brand also partnered with Coca-Cola, so you can go to any participating Burger King and get a “Hopper Meal” or an “Upside Down Whopper.”
we thought about turning your drink upside down first. but, you know…that didn’t work out so well.
served upside down at select bk locations today only. pic.twitter.com/IYv0cmlaLI
— Burger King (@BurgerKing) June 21, 2019
Speaking of Coca-Cola, the (old) New Coke made an appearance in many scenes of season 3. They’re now selling the limited-edition cans along with some 80s-themed merchandise.
Ɛsƃuᴉɥ┴ɹǝƃuɐɹʇS# ǝʞoƆǝʌɐS# sƃɐʇɥsɐɥ ǝɥʇ ppɐ oʇ ʇǝƃɹoɟ ʇ’uop ˙sn ǝʌɐs oʇ ǝƃɐssǝɯ uǝppᴉɥ ǝɥʇ ʇǝǝʍ┴ ˙ʎɐpoʇ sǝnlɔ ǝɥʇ llɐ lɐǝʌǝɹ oʇ ɯooz puɐ ɥɔuᴉԀ ¿uʍop ǝpᴉsdn sᴉ plɹoʍ ɹᴉǝɥʇ uǝɥʍ suᴉʞʍɐH ǝʌɐs llᴉʍ ʇɐɥM pic.twitter.com/cjQRa0hb50
— Coca-Cola (@CocaCola) July 4, 2019
Stranger Things is a true ode to the 80s, and a celebration of the era’s pop culture — it’s totally tubular. This show is a perfect platform for advertisements, and it’s clear that many brands jumped on the bandwagon this season for a good reason.
And though 80s logos and design aren’t for everyone, the fun styles associated with the era are making their way back into 2019 design trends, such as gradient logo design.
Did we miss any Stranger Things season 3 iconic logos in this roundup? Let us know on social @lookadesign!
p.s. Feel like jumping past the 80s? Check out our blog post on 90s logos.